Irwin sewer project seeks to remove rainwater from sanitary sewers

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Some residents of Irwin will soon receive letters telling them they must do corrective work on their downspouts, driveway drains or other drains.

Irwin council Thursday night gave borough engineer Lucien Bove permission to send letters to residents whose drains and downspouts were found to connect to sanitary sewers in an ongoing sewer line project.

In a pilot program, the borough hired State Pipe Services of Cranberry to use small television cameras to inspect lateral sewer lines between 194 homes and nearby main sewer lines.

Residents are financially responsible for repair and maintenance of lateral lines, Mr. Bove said. So far, 54 of the 194 lateral lines have been televised, and 25 homes were found to have rain water drains tapped into sanitary sewers.

Some homeowners will be asked to untap their downspout ends and driveway drains from the sanitary sewers, but some might only be asked to install a cap on pipes, he said.

The caps are $4 apiece, but some of the other work will be expensive, Mr. Bove said.

The purpose of the project in the Northeastern section of Irwin is to remove rain water from sanitary sewers, thereby reducing the amount of water that must be treated at sewage plants.

Mr. Bove said televising is also being done of about 30,000 linear feet of main sewer lines. Another purpose of the project is to show when terra cotta sewer pipes are crushed or otherwise damaged, he said.

Many sewer pipes in Irwin are made of terra cotta, he said.

Employees of State Pipe Services have also inspected 200 manholes in the borough as part of the work, Mr. Bove said.

Mary Benko, borough manager, said the $45,000 project is being paid for with money from residents’ sewage bills.

In other business, Mr. Bove said the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk and curb project was finished around the beginning of April. Grass is already growing between the sidewalks and curbs, he said.

Anne Cloonan, freelance writer:

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